Kolkata, Jan 12 (PTI) The French ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler today said Chandernagore in West Bengal figures high among the French although they may not know where the place is located.

Chandernagore in Hooghly district was a French colony till 1950.

Participating at the Treasury building restoration workshop by students from both countries at Chandernagore as part of ‘Bonjour India 2018’, Ziegler said the initiative was aimed at bringing back the town into the “Indo-French map.” The demonstration after the workshop not only celebrated the glorious past of the two countries, “but part of future of our relationship projects involving students from two countries and local communities,” he said after going through the charts with sketches of the futuristic look of the restored Treasury building and neighborhood.

Speaking about the Chandernagore project, which is part of the 33-city tour of Bon Jour India in the past four months, Ziegler said, “It is very sumbolic of what we are doing here.”

He said that when he first visited Chandernagore, the Treasury building was like a museum but is now a site where perople are workimg on real projects.

“Next year, I hope to see all these projects on paper on the ground. Let’s start with a pilot project on Treasury building. We can demonstrate we can make it meet the needs,” he said.

Ziegler took a cruise down the Hooghly with the French Consul General in Kolkata and other officials from consulate and Alliance Francaise to the former French colony to be present on the concluding day of restoration workshop.

India, he pointed out, was the first port of call in 1984 when the Festival of France was conceptualized.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.